Atletico prepare for double United swoop: Atletico Madrid are ready to launch a bid to sign Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa from Manchester United. The Guardian reports that the Liga champions are keen to take the pair off Louis van Gaal's hands, having lost Diego Costa and Filipe Luis to Chelsea and with Javier Manquillo poised to join Liverpool. A deal in excess of £25m is expected.
Paper Round's view: With Marouane Fellaini, Nani and Anderson also facing the chop from Van Gaal's squad, it seems slightly harsh that Hernandez and Kagawa are set to be first to go. Then again, perhaps it says something that they are - out of the five, they are the most desirable and it comes as no surprise that a club of Atleti's stature are keen on taking them. It may prove slightly more difficult to offload Fellaini, Nani and Anderson.
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Vermaelen to force move: Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen will not discuss a new deal in a bid to force his exit from the Emirates, reports the Sun. And Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who has already rejected a £7 million bid from Manchester United is now waiting for either United or Barcelona to match the £10m asking price. The paper claims that Vermaelen is keen on a move to join Louis van Gaal's revolution in Manchester, but United's initial offer fell well short of Arsenal's valuation and the Old Trafford club have refused Wenger’s proposal of a straight swap involving Chris Smalling or Phil Jones.
Paper Round's view: It's obvious why Vermaelen wants out of the Emirates, having fallen behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny in Wenger's pecking order, but he needs a little help from both Arsenal and United if he isn't to waste a season sitting on the bench. United need to up the ante and Arsenal need to realise they stand to lose him for nothing next summer if they don't do a deal now. Perhaps a middle ground can be found before the window closes? That's how it's supposed to work, isn't it?
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Gunners consider Carvalho move: Arsenal are weighing up a move for Sporting holding midfielder William Carvalho after failing to conclude a deal with Real Madrid for Sami Khedira. But the Sun reports the Gunners, who have already spent £63m this summer, are reluctant to meet the Portuguese club's valuation of £24m for the World Cup player. Even though he currently earns just £5,000 a week, his transfer fee would be no cheaper than that of Khedira (who pulls in £150,000-a-week), something Wenger cannot justify given Carvalho has played just one season in the Portuguese league.
Paper Round's view: When Carvalho was interesting Manchesters United and City, his price tag did seem rather inflated for such a young player with limited club experience. And even with World Cup experience now under his belt, it still appears too much to pay. As the report points out, Arsenal have a number of players who can play that role anyway, so possibly they are better off targeting the central defensive position instead.
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City close on Mangala: Manchester City hope to seal the £32m signing of Eliaquim Mangala from Porto over the next 48 hours, according to the Daily Mail. The central defender is due to return to the Portuguese club today following his stint with the French national side at the World Cup and City hope to finalise his protracted £32m move over the coming days.
Paper Round's view: If persistence pays, then City deserve to snare Mangala. They seem to have been after him for ages. That determination to get a deal done also shows how highly they rate the 23-year-old, although there is nothing concrete in the story to suggest a transfer will indeed be concluded.
Eliaquim Mangala (AFP)
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Swansea concede defeat over Bony: Swansea are prepared to get rid of Wilfried Bony's release clause in a bid to offload the unsettled striker, reports the Daily Mirror. Bony is determined to move to a bigger club, but the Welsh club's £19m asking price is scaring off potential buyers. Amid fears his big chance is slipping away, Swansea are now ready to lower their valuation, opening up a possible move to either Liverpool or Tottenham.
Paper Round's view: Well, this is a novel approach by a club: take a financial hit to grant a player his wish of moving to a bigger club. If true, it should be applauded (while not overlooking the fact that they would still be making some kind of profit on the player they bought for £12m last summer).
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Lampard not ready to retire just yet: The Daily Star reveals that Frank Lampard is ready to carry on playing for England after signing his six-month deal with Manchester City. The paper claims Lampard, along with Steven Gerrard, resolved to retire from international football after the World Cup, but the former Chelsea man's passion for England has been rekindled by his move to Eastlands. He will now make himself available to Roy Hodgson for the six games prior to his move to New York City FC.
Paper Round's view: You can understand Lampard's desire to continue representing his country, but whether he will get the chance is another matter entirely. Post-World Cup shambles, you'd expect the older generation to be frozen out of the England squad to make way for a new wave of players. The hope was that they'd make that decision themselves, but Lampard is handing over that responsibility to Hodgson, who must surely now make a decision to overlook a 36-year-old player who offers nothing for the future.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Arsene Wenger
- Shinji Kagawa
- Thomas Vermaelen
- Marouane Fellaini
- Louis van Gaal
- Atletico Madrid
- Manchester City
- Paper Round
- Frank Lampard